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The day the assembly line jammed at the Blue Nun Bottling Plant

By Amy Barnes

it was dramatic and initially fun to watch like the day I saw real nuns zipline drunk at our company picnic, and I prayed on the factory floor for the first time in a long time, like I imagine those more gentle nuns might pray after they sobered up, with my clasped hands and folded knees an anchor in the factory storm of glass, but it wasn’t a prayer for forgiveness, instead I yelled Save Me God! as the bottles flew and the machines jammed and the metal caps flew out of the presses like tiny metal frisbees, like God’s frisbees during a tornado, circular weapons flying across the plant until one took out Mark from accounting’s eye, which was particularly ironic because he was only on the floor for a minute to count things; and when someone finally pulled the shutdown switch, there were paper bits of smiling wimpled women and headless body nun label scraps and glittering glass littering the factory aisles and I gawked at it all with all the other workers (but no real nuns) untilI I felt something wet on my left leg and with a wince, looked down expecting to see brown beer liquid but instead there was a pool of communion-colored blood, tamped down by a Blue Nun label, blood seeping and creeping out from the edges like consecrated wine a priest forgot to drink, a crown of glass fragments around the nun’s head like a Renaissance painting in need of restoration.

Amy Cipolla Barnes lives in the South with dogs and kids and words and at @amygcb on Twitter

Art by Viktor Talashuk.


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